One of our customers just moved to Asheville and bought a beautiful new luxury home on the banks of the French Broad river.
But luxury is in the details, and in this case one or two details were missing. For example, the cabinets were very stylish, but when you opened them up, they just had a shelf inside. Things kept getting lost in the back, and you had to dig around for them.
She had me replace the shelves with pull-out drawers. Now it's easy to see what's in the back.
Something like this would be a really nice Mother's Day gift for your mom or spouse. No need for them to get down on their hands and knees on the hard tile floor every time they're looking for the dish soap. They can just pull the drawer out and it's right there in front of them.
Plus, these are soft-close drawers, so the kids can't slam them shut, and nothing gets knocked over or jarred around.
While I was there, I added another great little improvement: an extra cabinet and a valet rod in the laundry room. The rod is over the sink, so the homeowner can hang her handwashables here to dry and the excess water will just drip right down into the drain.
If your laundry room is inefficient and hard to work in, give us a call. We can add counters, cabinets and drawer pull-outs to make washing clothes easy and maybe even fun.
Like this pretty walnut counter which we installed over a customer's washer and dryer, so no more socks will get lost behind the machines.
Plus, a good-looking laundry room adds a lot to your home value for a very modest investment. So give us a ring.
The other day I had an epiphany: it's not worth your time or money to try to fix a faucet.
It all started because my bathroom faucet was acting up. First it clogged up so that less water came out when I turned it on. Of course I removed the aerator and cleaned out the grit that had accumulated there.
But when I put it back together, I noticed water dripping behind the sink. Naturally as a handyman I messed with it for half an hour or more, shining flashlights into corners, tightening things, and bumping my head against the sink. (Ouch!)
I never did find the source of the leak. My guess is that the back pressure caused by the clogged aerator ruptured a hidden seal. Or maybe the same grit that caused the clog caused a problem somewhere else.
So I stopped by Lowe's and bought a replacement. The old faucet cost $25, but this time I splurged and spent $29 for something with style.
It only took 15 minutes to swap out the new faucet for the old, and I have peace of mind because I doubt it will leak any time soon.
I've tried to fix faucets for customers in the past and not had much luck. Sometimes I'm able to tighten them and stop the drip, but it usually starts dripping again later. I've known plumbers who had the same experience.
Long story short: if your faucet drips, replace it. It's another example of spending money now to save money later. Because a second visit from a plumber is expensive, especially if the new leak has damaged your cabinets and floors.
And if you need a handyman who pays attention to the bottom line, give us a call.
Interior painting is one of my favorite jobs to do, because I can make such a difference in a room in a relatively short time.
I recently finished a whole-house interior repaint in a beautiful Craftsman-style home that had a dated brown wall color all throughout the house:
My customers chose a lighter color with more gray in it, and it gave the living room an airy and open feeling. (By the way, you may recognize the built-in entertainment center if you follow my other blog at Artisan Built-ins. I installed it last month.)
Moving upstairs, the kids' playroom was a dull mossy green that made the space feel dark. Check out that before and after! That's not my camera playing tricks on you, as you can see if you compare the tone of the carpet in the two pictures.
The new wall color reflects the light a lot better, which is helpful in a room like this with so little natural daylight.
But I think the biggest change was in the master bathroom. The dreary brown did nothing to flatter the tile.
What a difference a lighter tone makes! It ties in with the pretty marble sinks and bounces light all around the room.
I also installed new medicine cabinets with cherrywood frames that make a nice statement against the pale gray. Now the room looks like a spa retreat where you can escape from the world.
If your home has dingy or dated wall colors and you're ready for a change, give us a call to lighten up. We'll be glad to help you, because we love this stuff!
One of my customers, a retired kitchen designer, recently bought a house with a kitchen that didn't have enough storage. The main part of the kitchen is on a peninsula overlooking the living room, so there are no upper cabinets over the sink, just a couple of really cool light fixtures.
She came up with a creative idea to install a set of IKEA cabinets from their "LIXHULT" line. These are colorful, modular, metal cabinets which come in various sizes.
On my first visit, I worked with her to install 11 cabinets to her specifications. It looked like an extension of the art collage on the other wall. She was very happy...
...but in a lucky twist of fate, she had ordered a few too many cabinets.
She initially planned to use them in her grandchildren's guest bedroom. However, she started experimenting after I left and soon called me back out to add them to our assemblage in the kitchen.
Despite the small size of the individual boxes, the new pantry holds a surprising amount of stuff. I really like the little rails on the insides of the doors to hold recipe cards and notebooks.
The extra cabinets were a lucky addition, since they make the whole unit look more substantial.
Even though IKEA cabinets are usually very "do it yourself," this was definitely a good time to hire a handyman to install them. The cabinets needed to be mounted into studs, and with such small units, there's not always a stud where you need one! With all of the heavy stuff that could be stored in these cabinets, this becomes a safety issue and needs to be done right.
So if you'd like to try this look in your home, tap the big orange button to call in a pro for the job:
I've been doing a lot of painting this Spring... it seems like everybody is ready to freshen up their digs.
One of the biggest transformations so far has been in this bathroom, which went from bland beige to bold blue. The color is "Indigo Batik" by Sherwin Williams.
The deep color really sets off the white trim and vanity, making even the untouched parts of the room look crisp and new.
I've found that painting walls a dark blue like this doesn't make the room look smaller, It even looks good in little half-baths. Maybe it's because blue is a cool color that recedes from the eye.
By the way, the best time to hire a professional painter is when you're planning to use dark colors against light ones, like with this room's trim and ceiling. It's crucial to be able to cut in a smooth line, because the contrast makes any mistakes immediately obvious.
If you have a tricky painting job that needs a steady hand, why not have a pro do it? We'll leave a smooth line every time.